Safe house garden leads to a greener, more connected community

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Residents are taking ownership of their gardens to grow wholesome vegetables, adding colour and a lush shade of green to their deep ochre surrounds.

A project helping to make one Territory community more sustainable is having great success, with residents taking ownership of their gardens to grow wholesome vegetables, adding colour and a lush shade of green to their deep ochre surrounds.

Originally starting as a project to establish a vegetable garden and fruit trees at the Territory Families, Housing and Communities (TFHC) Women’s Safe House at Ti Tree, it has since encouraged people to join in cooking classes and share meals using vegetables from the garden and grow their own produce in the remote region of Anmatjere.

Last Friday, staff members of the Central Australian TFHC team and Central Desert Regional Council met with residents of the community for phase two of the project involving yard cleaning and the installation of garden beds, at 6 Mile Outstation, 10km from Ti Tree.

George Tetteh, TFHC Director at Central Desert Remote, said the program had been a resounding success, with more than 30 of 39 households at Pmara Jutunta (6 Mile Outstation) wanting to have garden beds established at their homes.

The clean-up last week involved removing rubbish and 69 old cars and establishing garden beds for vegetables and flowers in backyards. Sixteen garden beds were installed at eight homes with the rest to follow at future working bees.

“The program aims to promote healthy living and improve nutrition by encouraging children and families to eat the food that they grow,” Mr Tetteh said.

“Having clean yards and clean homes helps to promote and maintain a healthy lifestyle. In doing so, we’re working to improve relationships and the lives of our young children.

“Beyond this, it increases household activity and gives the families something to look up to every day.”

Pmara Jutunta resident, Beryl Pultara, was excited to plant beans in her front garden to provide food and shade.

“The project is great for the community and is a way to get young men involved in some meaningful work to make the community better and safer,” Beryl said.

The team plans to visit the outstation again next week to help residents with the planting of seasonal seedlings including tomatoes, capsicums, chillies, beetroot, lettuce and carrots.

Excess produce grown at the Ti Tree Women’s Safe House vegetable garden is sold to The Wayout Bush Store at Ti Tree for use in the kitchen. The safe house is a refuge for women and children escaping domestic violence.

Safe House Garden

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